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posted by martyb on Wednesday June 09, @05:53AM   Printer-friendly
from the wireless-infidelity dept.

New Vulnerabilities in Wi-Fi Security Revealed:

[Mathy] Vanhoef, who is affiliated with KU Leuven and New York University Abu Dhabi, found three vulnerabilities in the Wi-Fi security protocol. He also identified several programming errors in devices with Wi-Fi connections. For the study, he tested 75 devices, including smartphones, laptops, and smart devices. All devices that were tested were vulnerable to at least one of the discovered flaws.

The weaknesses found in the Wi-Fi security protocols are very difficult to exploit, which may explain why they remained under the radar for a long time: Vanhoef found them in the current WPA3 protocol, but also in all previous security protocols, dating back to 1997.

[...] The programming errors that Vanhoef found in Wi-Fi devices are especially problematic for smart appliances and computers that have not been updated in a long time because it is easier to abuse them in these cases.

[...] There is no immediate cause for concern. “It’s impossible to tell if these flaws have already been abused. It seems rather unlikely because they went unnoticed for so long.” Over the past nine months, Vanhoef worked closely with many major IT companies, including Google and Microsoft, to fix the weaknesses. This happened via the Wi-Fi Alliance, an association of IT companies that jointly own and control the Wi-Fi trademark. Yesterday, they launched the necessary updates to fix the flaws.

[...] Visit for more information about the discovered weaknesses.

He has created a website which goes into considerable detail outlining the various flaws that were discovered. There are also links to tools that he has made available including a bootable live image. There is also a 6m30s video demonstration available on YouTube.

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  • (Score: 2) by TheGratefulNet on Thursday June 10, @01:40PM

    by TheGratefulNet (659) on Thursday June 10, @01:40PM (#1143875)

    sorry, again, this is just not true.

    what IS true is that you cant see the lower level chip internals and those run vendor proprietary code. I knew one guy who claimed he did know what went on in those chips, but I'm not even sure I believe him. and anyone who did know, had to sign their life away on an NDA.

    regardless of what that lower level 'phy' chip does, as long as the os is not polling or accepting data from it, its essentially shut down.

    and that's really all that matters. there is a strong line between the chip side and the os/firmware side.

    airplane mode is where the os says 'you can say anything you want, but my end is shut down, so please dont waste your time' (very very loosely put) ;)
    and more to the point, the hardware IS shut down since the goal is to save battery.

    "It is now safe to switch off your computer."
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